As a parent, you may be concerned with how much television your child watches, whether it’s on the TV in the living room or some other device. While we can’t monitor everything they do, the best we can do is make sure they’re at least watching shows with some kind of redeeming value. In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of the best shows for children under 3 years old to watch.
The Basis for the Best Television Shows for Children
In compiling this list, we used the criteria of educational value, how engaging and entertaining the show is for children, and whether or not it’s currently available on regular television or through a
streaming service. Here’s our top five:
- Curious George. Celebrating 75 years since the first books were first published, the curious monkey and the man with the yellow hat have been educating kids for a few generations now, first appearing on television in 1980. Curious George makes the list for doing a great job with teaching math and science concepts to kids. Find these beloved characters on PBS kids.
- Doc McStuffins . Featured on the Disney Channel and now Disney Junior since 2012, Doc McStuffins is about Dottie “Doc” McStuffins, who decides she wants to become a doctor like her mother, and practices her dream by fixing toys and dolls. Each episode ends with “Doc” giving advice to kids about staying healthy.
- Blue’s Clues. On the air since 1996, Blue’s Clues follows an animated blue-spotted dog named Blue as she plays games with the host and the viewers. Soon after premiering on Nickelodeon, Blue’s Clues became the highest-rated show for preschoolers on American commercial television. While the original series has ended, episodes can still be found on Nick Jr. and Netflix.
- Wonder Pets! Another Nick Jr. favorite, Wonder Pets! follows three elementry school classroom pets, Linny the Guinea Pig, Turtle Tuck and Ming-Ming Duckling. The trio of heroes rescue baby animals while demonstrating the benefits of teamwork. The show has also won three Emmy awards for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition.
- Kipper. Created by British writer, Mick Inkpen, Kipper is a warm-hearted dog who is both friendly and curious, and known for being a hoarder. The show was originally broadcast from 1998 to 2002 on Nick Jr. and can now be found on PBS Kids Sprout. Several parents agree this is one of the best kids shows ever made.